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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Prisoner/Internee Art from the Isle of Man


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Greetings all. I thought you might like to see a couple of items that were given to me recently.

They are made from sheep bones, and have been carved to reveal flowers on one side and " Peel 1914 - 1916" on one, and the Manx coat of arms and "IOM" on the other. Both have wooden bases but one is damaged quite badly. I would imagine that the "Peel" one would have been made at the Knockaloe camp, as the town is a mile or so from where the camp once stood.





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Welcome to the Forum, Gaz!

Those bones are LOVELY!! Wish people would give me things like that!!

Think they'll be beef bones, rather than sheep, though, not that it matters!

Treasure them!


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Hi everyone,

I just joined the forum today because I read your thread! I am studying vases such as these which were made in WW1 camps on the Isle of Man as the basis of my forthcoming MA dissertation, and was therefore very excited to see your pictures, Gaz. To fill you in on some details, I would say that these vases are most commonly made in the Knockaloe civilian internment camp, near Peel, as you suggested. The bones used were left over from the kitchens there and were either beef or mutton. They were part of a wide program of craft work carried out in this camp and at the camp in Douglas including carving of wood, making boxes, toothbrushes, picture frames etc and even furniture, basket work, brush manufacturing, drawing and painting. Something else I am fascinated with is the beadwork carried out at the camps, especially snakes, these were produced by Turkish prisoners and are a local specialist craft, almost identical snakes are known from other camps housing Turkish prisoners. As well as these there were other social free time activities including theatrical societies, sport and gardening. All of this was in an attempt to alleviate boredom and loneliness, and was most popular after the first year of the war had passed and it became more obvious that their freedom might be a long time in coming. Gaz, if you could measure the height and width of your vases I would very much appreciate it, I am interested in assessing similarities and differences in styles and this would really help with my work. If anyone would like to read more about this here are a few links:

http://www.gov.im/mnh/heritage/library/bib.../internment.xml A bibliography of works

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ivG8uIR...GhNM&hl=en- a google book of Trench Art featuring discussion of Manx trench art;

http://www.dcfa.com/Trench%20Art/slides/3935.shtml Some bone vases similar to yours;

http://www.dcfa.com/Trench%20Art/slides/3792.shtml Another bone vase;

http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fa...algy/intern.htm and a general overview of Manx internment.

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